I went to Italy two years ago. As I was walking along cobblestoned streets, one month before I was diagnosed, I stumbled upon a Pinocchio shop. I was searching for a unique Roman Christmas gift for my daughter, so this was perfect. I carefully searched Geppetto's shop, wading through the wooden puppets, until I found a wooden bound book with a ballerina on the front cover. I had her name added to the cover. The pages were blank waiting for inspiration. I wanted to fill them with stories that are honest, yet empowering. I want my daughter to know she can create her own fairytale, yet it doesn’t have to include royalty or damsels in distress. I want her to know that she can be loving and compassionate, without sacrificing strength and intelligence.
Here is one of the stories I wrote for her. I read a quote recently, the author is unknown. “Never tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon!”
While this was meant for my daughter, I hope it helps to light your journey.
By: Allison Toepperwein
There once was a little girl who wanted to touch the stars.
Every night, as she stared at the twinkling lights, she dreamed and imagined what it would be like just to touch one.
She would reach and reach. Every day she stretched just a little further, but she couldn't quite reach her star.
As the little girl grew, she became smarter, as well as, bigger and stronger. She decided she needed a trampoline. If she could jump high enough, maybe she could touch her star. So she jumped and she jumped; she jumped and she jumped, but she still could not reach her star.
She tried to build stairs, so she could climb to the stars. She hammered and measured, she measured and hammered, but she ran out of wood before reaching her star.
She grew and she thought. She thought and she grew. She had it! She could build a catapult! Then, she could fly to the stars. She engineered. She constructed. She constructed and engineered. She put on her helmet. She fastened her seatbelt. She set the catapult. She pulled the lever, and she flew! But, alas, it was hardly high enough for her star.
She felt defeated. She was sad, thinking she would never reach her star.
She continued to grow, in size and mind, trying not to think about the stars. Yet, every night they blinded her, as if taunting her to touch them.
Finally, she started to experiment. She tinkered and tested. She tested and tinkered, until one day she built a rocket ship. She marveled at her design. She wondered if it would work. She strapped on her helmet. She buckled her seatbelt. She started the engine, and she flew! She flew and she flew and she flew! She flew higher and faster than ever before. She flew past the moon. She said hello to the sun, but kept flying. She flew and she flew, until she arrived at her star. She touched her star. She reached her star!
But, something funny happened when she reached her star. A feeling took over deep down inside. She decided to keep flying. She wasn’t done yet! Now, she wished to reach them all!